Wednesday, April 01, 2020

  • Wednesday, April 01, 2020
  • Elder of Ziyon

On March 27, The Lancet published a purely political anti-Israel screed, complete with footnotes, pretending to be concern for Palestinian health in Gaza:

Structural violence in the era of a new pandemic: the case of the Gaza Strip
David Mills
Bram Wispelwey
Rania Muhareb
Mads Gilbert
“Hope for improving health and quality of life of Palestinians will exist only once people recognise that the structural and political conditions that they endure…are the key determinants of [Palestinian] population health.”

As the world is consumed by the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), it should be of no surprise that epidemics (and indeed, pandemics) are disproportionately violent to populations burdened by poverty, military occupation, discrimination, and institutionalised oppression.2 Structural violence rooted in historical, political, and social injustices determines health patterns and creates vulnerabilities that hamper the effective prevention, detection, and response to communicable disease outbreaks. In the occupied Gaza Strip, the convergence of these forces in the era of a pandemic have the potential to devastate one of the world's most vulnerable populations.

The colonial fragmentation of the Palestinian people and their health systems, combined with a neoliberal development framework implemented during the past decades, has created a profound dependency on aid, placing health care at the mercy of increasingly restrictive international donor politics. Since 2007, Israel has imposed a crippling land, air, and sea blockade over the Gaza Strip's 2 million Palestinians, 1·4 million of whom are refugees,6 subjecting them to extreme crowding in one of the world's most densely populated regions.

As a result, the Gaza Strip faces high levels of poverty, unemployment, food insecurity, and lacks sufficient clean water, while the blockade disrupts medical supply chains, curtails the movement of patients and health workers, and severely inhibits medical capacity-building and public health development. Preventive measures and containment of COVID-19 will be extremely difficult now that the pandemic has reached the Gaza Strip. While prisoners in Iran and elsewhere are temporarily being released to protect them from contained spread, for Palestinians, living in what is described as the largest open-air prison in the world, there is nowhere to go—unless, of course, they are granted their legal and moral right of return.

Guided by our moral values and professional obligations, the international community must act now to end structural violence by confronting the historical and political forces entrenching a cyclical, violent, and mutable reality for Palestinians. A COVID-19 pandemic that further cripples the Gaza Strip's health-care system should not be viewed as an inevitable biomedical phenomenon experienced equally by the world's population, but as a preventable biosocial injustice rooted in decades of Israeli oppression and international complicity in the struggle for the health, fundamental rights, and self-determination of all Palestinians.
We declare no competing interests.
Among the footnotes is one to the UN General Assembly Resolution 194 where they justify the "legal and moral right of return" - even though the resolution has no legal validity nor does it say there is a right of return nor does it say anything about morality. But, hey, its a footnote, so it must be true!

To give an idea of how much these people care about humanity, Mads Gilbert has explicitly said that he supported the 9/11 attacks on the US (a position he retracted 8 years later only after he was shamed by it:)

In a statement made to Dagbladet in the wake of the September 11 attacks Gilbert stated: "The attack on New York did not come as a surprise with the politics the West has followed the last decades. I am upset by the terrorist attack, but I am at least as upset over the suffering that the US has caused. It is in this context that 5000 dead has to be seen. If the U.S. government has a legitimate right to bomb and kill civilians in Iraq, the oppressed has a moral right to attack the U.S. with the weapons they may create as well. Dead civilians are the same whether they are Americans, Palestinians or Iraqis." When asked if he supported a terrorist attack against the US he answered: "Terror is a poor weapon, but my answer is yes, within the context I have mentioned."
Bram Wispelwey wrote an article for Praxis Center that waxes poetic about the weekly Gaza "Return" protests, claiming that the thousands of people bussed to the Gaza fence by Hamas were acting spontaneously, and in the end he justifies Palestinian - and, in fact, all - terror:

While we tend to automatically justify our own violent American revolution—which, let’s remind ourselves, was about taxation and political representation—we’ve often hypocritically held different standards for those who protest or revolt against deeper historical injustices (e.g. the Haitian Revolution), or who refuse to accept dispossession, displacement, mass incarceration, and other conditions no human beings should be asked to tolerate. Such double standards flood the Western conversation on Palestine, leading to the constant parsing of non-violent vs. violent resistance at the expense of a rigorous conceptual framework that explicates violence through its origin, maintenance, and current power structure.

Brazilian educator and philosopher Paulo Freire contends that “never in history has violence been initiated by the oppressed…It is not the helpless, subject to terror, who initiate terror, but the violent, who with their power create the concrete situation which begets the ‘rejects of life.’”
Here Wispelwey is echoing Gilbert in saying that violence is justified because the other side is always more guilty. Whether he realizes it or not, he is supporting 9/11 and ISIS as well, as Paulo Friere's appalling logic works on literally every terrorist act in history.

 David Mills had previously written a letter to another medical journal with Gilbert and Wispelwey where they claimed that Israel deliberately targets medical workers during Gaza protests. He went to Ben Gurion University of the Negev but does not mention that in his affiliations for the Lancet letter, perhaps due to embarrassment that his BDS buddies would be unhappy that he collaborated with the hated Zionists.

Rania Muhareb is not a doctor or even a med student. She is an undergraduate student at SciencesPo and works for Al Haq, a BDS-supporting Palestinian NGO with links to the PFLP terror group.

The idea that these career Israel haters have "no competing interests" is only one of many lies.

The good news is that soon after people complained about this letter, The Lancet's editor removed it from the Lancet webpage.  Copies still exist elsewhere on the Internet but the Lancet link - here gleefully posted at the PLO webpage - is dead.

Maybe The Lancet actually learned something from its reprehensible behavior in freely allowing anti-Israel lies to be published in the past.

(h/t Tomer Ilan)

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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

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